As the domain name for this blog indicates I have thought about the possibilities for Social Media + CRM for quite a long time now; and nobody is more pleased than I am about the fact that “Social CRM” has finally come to be a mainstream term.. however, the fact is that “mainstream term” does not necessarily imply a well understood or agreed upon term; the last couple months I have come across stated or implied definitions of Social CRM that make me react in ways that range from excitement to amusement to disgust. Because of that I have decided to write this post to express my opinion of what Social CRM is; here it goes..
Let’s go back to square one: Paul Greenberg (in my opinion the utmost authority on CRM in the US; and a passionate advocate of the development of Social CRM) recently published a “Stake in the Ground” post on Social CRM; here I quote a few snippets from it:
- “For the company to succeed… they can only provide what the customer needs to satisfy that part of the customer’s personal agenda that is associated with their enterprise... That means products, services, tools and experiences that allow the customer that satisfying interaction.”
- “We’ve moved from the transaction to the interaction with customers, though we haven’t eliminated the transaction - or the data associated with it.”
- “SCRM also changes the nature of what kind of customer is optimal for you... your objective should be to create advocates..”
- “How you measure customer value changes when you’re thinking about SCRM... Rather than just Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) - which reflects the direct financial value of a customer to a company over the life of his relationship… think about Customer Referral Value (CRV) which measures how valuable influential customers are when they tell others about your company..”
Now let’s take a couple aspects (to keep it brief) of the traditional CRM definition; I am using the one that can be found at Search CRM that says that CRM is about (among many other things):
- “Helping an enterprise to enable its marketing departments to identify and target their best customers, manage marketing campaigns and generate quality leads for the sales team”
- “Allowing the formation of individualized relationships with customers, with the aim of improving customer satisfaction and maximizing profits; identifying the most profitable customers and providing them the highest level of service.”
So let’s mix & extract some of the core points of the concepts above:
- Social CRM implies experiences that enable the customer to achieve their personal objectives, and allow the enterprise to advance their business objectives.
- Social CRM relies on data; this now includes the interaction; not only between the enterprise and the customer, but also among customers (and with partners).
- Value for the enterprise has become multi dimensional; direct transactions continue to be part of it but now it also encompasses indirect influence, co-creation, support deflection, etc.
- Because of the two bullets above “identifying the most valuable customers” and “forming relationships with the aim to improve customer satisfaction and advancing business objectives” now takes on multiple dimensions; it now encompasses customer service, product development, sales, marketing, customer loyalty and many more.
Social CRM then means, within the scope of what was proposed above, the systems and business processes / strategies that allow enterprises, customers (and partners that may be part of the value ecosystem) to establish, guide, operate, track, identify, act on, react to the inter relationships that enable all of the multiple dimensions of value that were listed above.
What do you think?